By now, every American should be on the same page about COVID-19. We should all be seeing the same images of overcrowded hospitals, dwindling supplies, and skyrocketing infection rates. Americans have suffered far more during the pandemic than any other country, yet 25% of Americans still believe that the pandemic was planned and executed by powerful people. How is it possible for the most modern society in the world, with all the evidence right at our fingertips, to be so misinformed?
This is part 3 of a multi-part series where I analyze data scraped from Parler before it was shut down by Amazon. In part 1, I analyzed the frequency of violent hashtags, and in part 2 I got distracted by the bizarre campaign finance records of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the quarter million in dark money that made its way into Parler over the course of a single month. …
This is the second part of a multi-part series on data I crawled from Parler’s API until it was shut down by Amazon. I got a surprising amount of attention from part 1 and sent data to quite a few researchers who emailed me. I hope to see more people using this data to investigate how social networks can serve as echo chambers for conspiracies and misinformation.
Part 2 was supposed to be about misinformation websites shared within Parler, but that’s now in part 3. …
I ran a crawler to collect posts and comments on the Parler social network for months before Amazon shut them down. Parler was a poorly-engineered app that hosted a wide range of hate speech, conspiracy theories, threats of violence, and disinformation.
Users could only search posts on Parler (called “Parleys”) by hashtags, not by the text content within the post itself. This led users to liberally apply hashtags within any Parley that they wished to disseminate widely, unknowingly providing valuable metadata to researchers like myself.
For example, here is a random Parley from January 6th in Washington D.C.
#trump had to allow #mikepence to sign his own death warrant…..